“My whole life has been a horse, a horse, a horse and more horses.” † Body shirt with Johann Buffy from Slingen

Every week, employee Rie Strikken asks a resident of Kanaalstreek and Westerwolde to get the job done. In Episode 182, Johann Buffy of Slingen comes in.

They never miss the holidays. Johann Buffy and his wife Albert enjoy every day in Celgene am See. Within seven years they had turned the ruins of Celgene back into the huge farm it once was. “Duck Pond,” a national monument built in 1914, takes its name from the duck pond that was once located behind the current plot.

One of the first projects was to excavate the deep and massive pond in the back of the one-hectare yard. There was a garden around it. A little out of sight is a tunnel greenhouse, Christmas trees for sale and an animal meadow with goats, chickens and… ducks.

“De Eendepoel” is still far from finished, but the renovation has progressed enough to welcome guests into the bed and breakfast from this fall.

Your reporter spent a pleasant evening with Johann and Albert, with beautiful photos, among other things, of their wedding day, in an authentic and comfortable kitchen. The road there leads along a long corridor with red parquet floors and a rustic-style living room. On the kitchen table Johann’s favorite flowers: lilies, in a beautiful bouquet of yellow and white. It has three hundred species of daylilies and one hundred and thirty irises.

When were you born?

“On September 29, 1978. In Creel, a small town in Nordwest Boulder. I have a younger sister. My father was a farmer, and later had a flying school with Cessnas. My mother worked as a farmer. When I turned sixteen, I had decided that I I don’t want to continue on the farm. Then my father sold the business and we moved to the neighboring farm. I’ve always lived free.

After MAVO I went to Horticultural High School in Frederiksor.

to treat

In my youth I always dealt with matters at home: growing leeks and tulips, weeding. My father once said, “You have two choices: Or you go to work for someone else on Saturday and make money. Or you work from home and you get bored of it. And so since I was fifteen I worked in my spare time for another farmer. When I turned sixteen My age, my dad let me moped a moped, or paid for my driver’s license until the first test. Well, then I did everything with the bike for another two years!

I have saved a lot myself. I had about 5 guilder tubes, it went well.

horse horse horse horse

I had an expensive hobby: a horse. For years I’ve been moaning that I want a horse. Before I turned 18, my father finally gave me one. With stables, pastures, outside yard and trailer. I managed to buy a car when I was eighteen years old.

Since I was 17, I’ve done everything for about ten years: jumping, dressage, and quad competitions. You have reached the Dutch championship.

So far I’ve found out that I don’t like girls, but I haven’t done anything with them. My whole life has been a horse, a horse, a horse and more horses.


I must have been twenty-two when I carefully went to look at the chat page. Albert and I found each other. He actually lived in Swifterbant, less than twenty miles from me! In 2005 we rented a house together above a shop.

After high school in horticulture, I started working at a well-known perennial nursery. She later worked at Groenrijk. After that I worked in a hardware store.


After three months in the rented house, I saw a semi-detached house in Dronten, where Albert and I worked. “No!” said Albert. He did not like it at all, but I paid him carefully after a year and we lived there with great pleasure for seven years.

duck pond

I was increasingly missing out on freedom and space and started looking for possibilities on the Internet. In Sellen I saw “duck pond”. The farm remained empty for forty years. It was beige and brown all over, scraps and softboard. The window frames were rotten and there was only glass in them. But the price was right, the base was good and I wanted to fix it myself. Albert never wanted it again, but now he knew there was nothing to stop it, and by renovating our first house I gained his trust, so he gave in.

We moved on like this in 2014. “We are happy with De Eendepoel and De Eendepoel is happy with us,” we wrote in the touching notice. Our friends are used to us

pink – white

On our wedding day, in 2012, the theme was “Pink”. Everyone wore pink clothes except us. We were in white. But the day before, I had quickly made pretty collars for two Labrador Jimmy and Diesel, cut out of a pink T-shirt I bought at a thrift store. Gently finished.

Albert has found a job at Assen, and I have been home upholstery in Gieten for the past two years. They were looking for someone who had the right hands and wanted to learn, well, I do.


We started by digging a huge pond behind De Eendepoel. In the middle is a beautiful gazebo where we have organized garden parties before, most recently with Klaas Spekken.

She immediately began building the garden, preserving her hundred-year-old acacia. You could see the rose beds between them, and I got them from a friend who wanted to make the garden easier. My favorite thing is getting scraps or exchanging them, but I also surf the internet. If I see somewhere “free boxwood, dig it yourself,” I say to myself: “Put it behind the car, and go.” Most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

My favorite is hemerocallis, daylily, I have three hundred and iris, there are one hundred and thirty of them.

National souvenir

The house is a national monument. That’s why we called in a specialist architect. I can recommend this to anyone working on a monument. It will cost you about a thousand euros more, but you will save yourself ten thousand euros in misery. I must say that the municipality really cooperated with regards to the licenses.

Neighbors asked if we wanted to start a camp site, because previous candidates had applied for a permit. But we don’t. For example, we outsourced the input, but other than that, we do almost everything ourselves. Albert is absolutely accurate. At first, he was annoyed that things would get messy again if he cleaned up and vacuumed the place. It’s there now

become easier. I like the outline and the ideas, he is more interested in the proposal and now he enjoys it just as much as me. We really do everything together.

His mother moved to Ter Apel and regularly helps harvest fruit and make jam. We sell them at a roadside stall or with open gardens on weekends.

We’ve been in WWR (Westerwolde Rijgt) multiple times and are members of Growth and Bloom, Het Tuinpad Op and the Dutch Garden Foundation. To be less restrictive, we sometimes organize an open day of the garden on Sundays several times in the summer. We also have a Facebook page for that: www.facebook.com/deeendepoel

bed and breakfast

Two years ago I started building two rooms with a bathroom upstairs. From next fall we will receive guests there in our bed and breakfast.

We would like more people to enjoy our beautiful home, garden and beautiful Westerwolde.

Time is running

In the little free time left, we like to take a city trip, go to the theater or a concert.

What are our plans for the future, you ask? We hope to keep renovating like this, enjoying the lovely Westerwolde and each other. Time flies by, everything goes fast. Johan and I met in 2000. And before you know it, it’s been twenty years!

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